By Wu Ming
While a fireplace rips during the Venetian Arsenal in 1569, the enigmatic Emanuele De Zante, spy-catcher and secret agent, is betrayed through his lover, imprisoned, and accused of treason. Given the opportunity to flee, he embarks on a trans-European odyssey that may try his loyalty and strength him to query even his own identity.
via a sequence of lethal political video games best the entire strategy to the Sultan’s palace in Constantinople, De Zante and his partners spiral headfirst toward a clash during which the nice empires of the Republic of Venice and the Ottomans threaten the very foundations of civilization.
From the alternate Paperback edition.
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Additional resources for Altai: A Novel
He cried. “A chained bear indeed! Would that it were chained and not free to harry those who are not heretics but—” Someone seized and stifled the shouting man. It might have been Will’s father. At the same time, the earl’s boot, still in a heavily encrusted metal stirrup, gave a kick or a shove and both Edward Arden and John Shakespeare toppled back into the crowd. Folk bounced into me, and we went down like bowling pins at least four rows deep. I righted myself and leaped up before the rest, even before Will.
I knew Will could get in terrible trouble for this. He was always worried about letting his father down, and I shuddered to think what his mother would do if she’d known the Shakespeare heir had ridden off for the day with the Whateley wench. Will’s sister Joan had called me that, and of a certain she didn’t hear it from Will. The queen and her courtiers evidently strode out upon the bridge, for the crowd farther up the banks of the lake let loose a mighty cheer. Our angle of sight was bad to watch Her Majesty but good to see the tumbler when he began to tiptoe upon the narrow railing high above the lake as if he had not a care in the world.
We stared at each other in a stalemate but hardly, I thought, a truce. Air from an unseen source shifted a battle banner behind his head. ” With a shudder up my spine, I realized then what I said in the next few moments could save Will or damn him to torture, imprisonment or even death. “But tell me,” Cecil said, leaning on his elbows and steepling his long-fingered hands before his mouth, “before we go on, exactly what is William Shakespeare to you? Here you are, an exotic woman, a tempting vixen, when he has a wife and family back in Stratford-Upon-the-Avon.
Altai: A Novel by Wu Ming